Safford locals shine at Luna Pioneer Rodeo

Photo By Quincy Orona/Courtesy Quincy Orona: From left, Tuddy Smart, Colton Smart, and Josh Smart, of Safford, race home for first place in the rodeo’s signature event, the Wild Cow Ride. 

Contributed Article/Courtesy Luna Rodeo

LUNA, N.M. – The 2022 Luna Pioneer Rodeo held on Saturday, July 23,  drew a large crowd to the tall pines of western New Mexico for rodeo action in more than a dozen events.  The rodeo, known for a good time and an afternoon cloud burst, failed to have a cloud burst this year and the rodeo went off as scheduled.   

The rodeo’s signature event is the Wild Cow Ride. Nine teams competed and the winning team was Josh Smart, Colton Smart, and Tuddy Smart, of Safford, with a time of 57.75 seconds. Click here to view photographer Quincy Orona’s gallery of the rodeo.  

The egg toss is another unique rodeo event; this year, the rodeo arena was lined up with over 130 teams.  Two calf scrambles had the arena full of youth trying their best to grab the flagging off the tail of one highly sought-after bovine. 

The top little buckaroos were Bo McQueen, of Luna, New Mexico, in Mutton Busting, Travis Barker, of Springerville, in Calf Riding, Tuddy Smart, of Safford, in Junior Bronc, and Mesa Bruton, of Cliff, New Mexico, in Barrel Racing ages 2-11. 

Photo By Quincy Orona/Courtesy Luna Rodeo: A young bull rider goes for a ride.

Other top winners included Sienna Woods, of Cliff, in Open Barrel Racing, Baylee Nunn, of Bosque, New Mexico, in Breakaway Roping, Tanner Brown, of Clifton, in Bull Riding, Jake Kuenstler, of Gila, New Mexico, in Calf Roping, Colt Chlarsen, of Casper, Wyoming, in Ranch Bronc, Cade Lee, of Datil, New Mexico, in Steer Riding, and Kenneth Atwood of Datil and Jimmy Moreno, of Lordsburg, New Mexico, in team roping. For a complete list of participants and times visit

Top contestants in all events enjoyed cash prize money and buckles.  In addition, the top team ropers boast new breast collars and knives as part of the Arcel Allsup memorial team roping.  The rodeo was well attended and the crowd enjoyed the tall pines, cool weather, and a great pioneer rodeo.